Community College Capitol Day shines spotlight on funding needs

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Posted by on 27 February

Community College Capitol Day shines spotlight on funding needs

With 68 percent of all freshmen as their students, Mississippi’s 15 community colleges play a key role in our state’s higher education system that leads to a more educated populace and a trained workforce.

Community college faculty and students from across the state will meet with their area legislators Thursday, Feb. 28 to share the message that community colleges are a good value for students and families and a solid investment for the state. A news conference will be held at 9:30 a.m. in the second floor rotunda of the Capitol. The event is being sponsored by the Mississippi Faculty Association for Community and Junior Colleges (MFACJC).

In 2007 legislators promised to fund the colleges at the Mid-Level point – per-student funding halfway between K-12 education and the regional public universities – but the community colleges are only getting 52 percent of the promised funds.  The colleges are seeking to regain the ground they lost since the legislation was passed and funding was only 28 percent below the Mid-Level target. It will take $73.5 million to make it to that point.

“State leaders in both the House and Senate have made an earnest effort to help us regain that lost ground,” said Dr. Clyde Muse, president of Hinds Community College. “We are hopeful that this year will bring us a little closer to Mid-Level funding.”

The community colleges enroll more than 80,000 students, including 56 percent of all undergraduates and half of all students, including graduate students, taking a credit course.

“In 2012, 60 percent of Mississippi university graduates previously attended a community college,” said Dr. William Lewis, president of Pearl River Community College and chair of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges.

Mid-Level Funding mandates per-student funding for community colleges that is midway between per-student funding for K-12 students and regional public university students. Using data from FY 2011, the regional public universities were funded at $5,803 per student and public schools were funded at $4,560 per student. Accordingly, community colleges should have been funded at $5,182 per student, but instead received only $2,686 per student.

“Mid-Level Funding is a means to keep tuition affordable, to recruit and retain quality faculty, and prepare more students for work. It is also simple fairness,” said Dr. Eric Clark, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board.

Among the speakers at the Thursday news conference will be Doug Donohue, president of the 900-member Mississippi Faculty Association for Community and Junior Colleges, which hosts the annual Capitol Day event. Donohue is an instructor at Pearl River Community College.

“We are 15 colleges, speaking with one voice for our students,” Donahue said. “We are concerned that our colleges continue to have the resources to offer quality instruction, industry-standard learning environments and facilities that support both.”

They join college presidents, students, alumni and trustees in asking legislators to support more funding for community colleges. Since Fiscal Year 2000, community college enrollment has grown 57.4 percent while state support per student has declined by 26.4 percent.

The faculty association will be joined at the Capitol by Student VOICES, a student-led advocacy group that encourages students to be civically engaged. Topping student concerns is the cost of a college education.

Representing students at the news conference will be Brenda Tyler, who worked at Delphi Packard in Clinton for 21 years. When the plant closed and sent jobs to Mexico, she realized a high school diploma wasn’t enough to land a living-wage job. At the age of 45, she took her severance package and enrolled in the Business Office Technology program at Hinds Community College.  Earlier this month, she was recognized as the top student in the program at the Jackson Campus – Academic/Technical Center and will graduate in May.

“Because of my training, I’ve been offered an opportunity with one of the top companies here in Mississippi. As a result of my matriculation at Hinds, I have two choices – I can either accept gainful employment with this organization or pursue a higher education. Because of the Mississippi community college system, I am now prepared to pursue future opportunities,” she said.

About 80 percent of new jobs being developed in the current economy require college-level learning, and, in Mississippi 58 percent of all undergraduates in public institutions are at a community college.

27 February, 2013 News more
Disaster relief drive collects for Southern Miss and Hattiesburg
Posted by
25 February

Disaster relief drive collects for Southern Miss and Hattiesburg

Disaster Relief for Hattiesburg

The Hinds Community College Raymond Campus recently collected goods for the storm damaged communities of Hattiesburg and the University of Southern Mississippi.

The drive, held Feb. 18-21, was sponsored by Associated Student Government, Residence Hall Association, Baptist Student Union, the Honors Program and the Athletic Department. Bottled water, non-perishable food items and hygiene supplies were collected and prepared for shipping.

25 February, 2013 News more
Posted by on 22 February

JATC to host Black History Month activities

The Hinds Community College Jackson Campus – Academic/Technical Center will be hosting a variety of activities on Wednesday, Feb. 27 and Thursday, Feb. 28.

The activities kick off at 11 a.m. on Wednesday in  Bivins Hall, room 155, with a lecture from Dr. Beverly Wade Hogan on the topic “Black History: Then and Now”.  Dr. Hogan has served as President at Tougaloo College since 2002. She is the first woman and the 13th president to lead the institution. After the lecture, there will be interactive questions and answers from the students.

Two winners in an essay contest for students on “What Does Black History Mean to Me and How Has It Made Opportunities Available to Me Today” will also be announced.

Students are expected to research a famous person in black history and be able to tell why that person is important to them.  Three students will randomly be selected from the audience to talk about their selection and will be granted door prizes.

A film and discussion session will be held on Thursday, Feb.28, designed for night students. A film will be presented entitled “The Great Debaters” and a discussion will ensue after the film.

Refreshments will be served on both Wednesday and Thursday nights.

All events are free and open to the public.

22 February, 2013 Jackson ATC, News more
Posted by on 20 February

Hinds CC medical programs featured in MPB ‘Job Hunter’ Feb. 21

Hinds Community College’s Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center is featured in Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s (MPB) original series “Job Hunter” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21.

The episode spotlights the medical industry in the Jackson area, including the Hinds program.

Host Kerri Courtney will take viewers through the hallways of Mississippi Baptist Health Systems (MBHS) and Hinds Community College.

While visiting MBHS, Courtney will speak with various staff members, including X-ray technician Landon Burr, Clinical Data Manager Lisa Simon, registered nurse Megan Fox and Nurse Manager Terri Diffy.

“When we think of medical careers, it’s easy to think of emergency medical technicians and doctors with years of education under their belts,” Courtney said. “But there is a wide variety of viable, high-paying career options in Mississippi’s thriving medical industry that don’t require a four-year medical degree.”

The episode will highlight jobs in the medical industry around the state such as radiology technologist, health information technologist, registered nurse and licensed practical nurse.

Viewers will also learn more about the skills needed for the industry when Courtney visits Hinds Community College’s Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center. Hinds’ radiology professor Stephen Compton and nursing instructor Maritta Bradley are among those interviewed on the show.

“We are pleased to bring ‘Job Hunter’ back to MPB for a second season,” said MPB Executive Director Ronnie Agnew. “Fostering a vibrant and robust workforce is essential to strengthening Mississippi’s economy. MPB is proud to have a part in that by highlighting the wealth of careers in Mississippi industries and the skills needed to succeed in those fields.”

As the only show of its kind in Mississippi, “Job Hunter” introduces viewers to jobs and career opportunities right here at home. Catch season two of “Job Hunter” on MPB TV Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit

“Job Hunter” is made possible in part by funding from the state of Mississippi and the Mississippi Manufacturers Association’s (MMA) Dream It Do It campaign and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

20 February, 2013 News more
Posted by on 20 February

Jackson Campus hosts College Day for high school seniors

Hinds Community College’s Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center on Sunset Drive is having a College Day for area high school seniors.

The College Day, which will showcase what the campus in northwest Jackson has to offer, is 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Feb. 26.

High school seniors with learn about admissions, financial aid, careers, programs of study and more.  Students will also have the opportunity to interact with teachers, tour campus, and enjoy food and prizes.

Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center offers a number of student organizations including Associated Student Government and Phi Theta Kappa honorary. The campus has a full range of academic offerings as well as programs in culinary arts, hotel and restaurant management, paralegal technology, electronics technology and more.

High school seniors and their parents are welcome to attend.  For more information or to RSVP, please call 601.987.8164 or email

20 February, 2013 Jackson ATC, News more
Posted by on 18 February

JATC library to host art exhibit

The Hinds Community College Jackson Campus – Academic/Technical Center library will host the art work of faculty member, Dr. B. Spurlock, Feb. 18 – March 1.

His paintings feature themes of freedom, justice and equality that were prevalent in speeches made by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s.

Dr. Spurlock is a native of Leflore County in the Mississippi Delta. He is currently a full-time instructor at Hinds’ Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center where he teaches courses in chemistry, physical science and algebra.

He has also been employed as a research scientist at the U.S. Department of Defense in Maryland and as a faculty member in the chemistry department at Jackson State University. He resides in Jackson with his wife and two daughters.

For more information on the art exhibit, call 601.987.8123 or visit

18 February, 2013 Jackson ATC, News more
Posted by on 15 February

Lockheed Martin IT Day on March 22

Hinds Community College is participating in the Fifth Annual Lockheed Martin Information Technology Day on March 22 at the Jackson Convention Center.

Hinds is participating with several other universities and colleges in the event, called “The Power of Information, which is intended to increase IT education and awareness, as well as to encourage networking and collaboration in industry, academia and the community. The day-long event, which is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., is free of charge and open to the public.

Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse will speak on a panel along with other college presidents.

The goal is to “increase the pipeline for STEM careers,” said Iyanna Colly, Career Services coordinator at Hinds Community College.

STEM stands for Science, Technology and Math. Students from high schools, colleges and universities across the state of Mississippi, as well as the public are invited. The event is similar to a career fair but on a larger scale and includes panel discussions, competitions and a reception, Colly said.

Hinds will have booths showcasing career-tech programs such as aviation and electrical technology. Hinds recruiters will also be available to talk to participants.

For more information about the day’s events, see the official website at

15 February, 2013 News more
Posted by on 13 February

Rollin Tigers wheelchair basketball takes on intramural team

Hinds Community College intramural basketball players will take on the Rollin Tigers, a wheelchair basketball team, in the second annual match-up on the Raymond Campus.

The game, which is free and open to the public, is at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at Mayo Field House Gym. Plans are for the Rollin Tigers to return later this spring for a softball game.

Antonio Wright, a Hinds alumnus and former Eagles football player, plays on the Rollin Tigers and will speak at halftime.

He founded MACE – Metro Area Community Empowerment Foundation – ­to assist individuals with spinal cord injuries and provide youth character building through mentorship, community involvement and goal formation. MACE helps people with spinal cord injuries reach their maximum level of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual function through fitness and sports. The Rollin Tigers Wheelchair Sports and Recreation Team is one of the MACE programs.

Wright attended Hardy Middle school and Provine High School where he was an outstanding football player.  He furthered his education and passion for football at Hinds Community College where he played on the 1994 championship football team, then attended Jackson State University.

On Feb. 2, 1997, he was in a motor vehicle accident that paralyzed him from the waist down.

13 February, 2013 News more
Posted by on 11 February

Hinds brings home awards from residence life conference

More than 25 residence life students and employees from Hinds Community College attended MREAL conference at Mississippi State University on Feb 2, bringing home a total of four awards.

The MREAL Conference is the combination of two statewide student leadership conferences, the Mississippi Association Residence Hall Students (MARHS) and the Resident Assistant Drive in Conference of Mississippi (RADCoM)

Ernest Dixon of Raymond, hall director on the Raymond Campus, received a personnel award from the MARHS state board of directors for his contributions to higher education and MARHS. Other awards received included “Most Spirited Roll Call,” “Most Philanthropic Delegation,” and “Most Valentine Card Contributors”.

Christi Reynolds of Brandon, resident assistant on the Raymond Campus, was also selected to the board of directors for MARHS. She now serves as the associate director of communication.

11 February, 2013 News more
Puckett Machinery donates engine to Ag/Diesel program
Posted by
11 February

Puckett Machinery donates engine to Ag/Diesel program

Puckett Donation

Puckett Machinery based in Jackson recently donated an engine worth $14,341 new to Hinds Community College’s Pearl/Rankin Career and Technical Center for high school students.

The Caterpillar 4.2 Acert engine went to the high school Ag/Diesel program. Puckett Machinery, which moves to Flowood this fall, is the CAT Dealer in Central South Mississippi with 411 employees in 15 locations.

“We hope that it will assist instructor Mack Abernathy in teaching the latest engine technology,” said Michele Branch, director of Human Resources for Puckett Machinery. “We at Puckett Machinery Company are big fans of this program as they have produced a number of technicians who are our brightest stars.”

Puckett Machinery has invested in the program in other ways in the past. Two graduates of the program have received scholarships for national training programs.

“Many of their graduates go on to complete the Diesel Program at Hinds’ Raymond, where we recruit their top grads every year,” Bunch said.

Said Eric Smith, director of the Pearl Rankin Career and Technical Center:  “Puckett Machinery continually supports our program by providing the latest equipment for our students. This allows us to train on the latest technology available in industry. Through their support we have been able to provide the community with a highly trained workforce.”

Among the students who will be able to use the engine to learn are, front from left, Ben Pace, Richland High School; Orry Yarbrough, Florence High School; Joey Whatley, McLaurin High School; Peyton Jones, McLaurin High School; Elmer Jones, Brandon High School; Joseph Alderson, Brandon High School; back row, Timothy Merritt, Brandon High School; Peyton Sharplin, Brandon High School; Will Foreman, Brandon High School; Cody Thompson, McLaurin High School and Trey Sparenecht, Brandon High School.

11 February, 2013 News more